J Jayalalithaa turns 64; PM, Modi greet her

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J Jayalalithaa and Narendra Modi
Chennai, Feb 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh greeted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on her 64th birthday on Thursday. Singh spoke to Jayalalithaa over phone and conveyed his greetings, a state government release here said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah besides a host of dignitaries also wished the leader. Partymen celebrated Jayalalithaa's birthday by distributing clothes and other assistance to the poor people across the state while special prayers were also held.

Though Jayalalithaa had asked her supporters to desist from any grandeur, holding that similar fete by DMK had done the party in, flex banners and wall-graffiti adored the cityscape, either wishing the 'Puratchi Thalaivi' (revolutionary leader) or seeking the blessings of "Amma" (mother as she is addressed by the AIADMK cadre).

Asking her partymen to work for the welfare of people, Jayalalithaa had said ensuring the victory of AIADMK in all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puduchery in the next elections would be the ideal gift to her from them.

Distribution of free sarees and dhotis, note books to students and mass feeding of poor people in places of worship were among the activities organised by party workers even as a 64 kg cake sporting the party colours was cut here to celebrate the day.

Jayalalithaa herself had yesterday launched a 64-lakh sapling plantation drive across the state as part of her birthday, the first after she led her party to a stupendous victory drubbing arch rival DMK in last year's Assembly polls.

The Chief Minister, who has been nurturing a national role presumably post-2014 Lok Sabha polls, in her birthday message recently had asked the party cadre to work for ensuring the victory of AIADMK in the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone one in Puduchery, apparently with an eye on having a decisive say in government formation.

Presently in her third term as Chief Minister of the state, Jayalalithaa was initiated into politics by her mentor and AIADMK founder late M G Ramachandran.

PTI

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